The Holidays without wrapping paper?!? Have we lost our organizing-loving minds? We understand…the idea of Christmas or Hanukkah without brightly wrapped presents seems unthinkable.
But here’s something to consider…according to this article from Stanford University, Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Years than during any other time of the year. Not too bad you say? That 25% amounts to about 1 million extra tons per week! Or what about the old classmate that you haven’t heard from in years? Should you send a card or not? If we all sent just one less card, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper. One less card!
And unlike some practical uses plastic has in our modern society, wrapping paper doesn’t improve our lives in any substantial way. Yes, of course aesthetics play a part in the joy of gift giving and the traditions we all have surrounding the holidays. But there are environmentally friendly ways to celebrate and decorate.
But wrapping paper is recyclable, right? For the most part that is, unfortunately, not the case. Any paper that is shiny, laminated, glittery or has velvet flocking is not. Neither are plastic bows or ribbons. So what’s a holiday loving person to do? Get creative! There are many different ways to make your gifts festive without filling up the landfills.
1.) Brown Paper
Whether you buy brown craft paper or recycle paper bags from the grocery store, you can use your creativity to make your gifts feel special. Something as simple as handwritten names and notes can make your gift unique. Or you can go all out and use stamps or stencils if time allows. No time? No worries, Seasonal twine and a colorful tag may be all you need. Sometimes less really is more.
Make the wrapping part of the gift itself. Vintage scarves, tea towels, fabric gift bags and cloth ribbons can all be utilized to make a beautiful presentation. Natural fiber Washi tape is also a great option to jazz up any package.
3.) Upcylced Papers
Maps, old posters, comics, newspapers and magazines can add color and creativity. Your gifts may look unconventional, but any recipient will appreciate the effort you’re making to ensure a healthy planet. After all, it is the thought that counts.
As always, the focus of the holidays should be about the people, the memories, and the time spent together. Consider gifts that don’t require any wrapping at all. Experiences such as concert tickets, park passes or IOU’s for future get togethers are all great, heartfelt presents!